ANSI - American National Standards Institute
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Third Plenary Meeting of the ANSI Homeland Security Standards Panel

New York, Dec 16, 2004

More than 100 professionals, experts and leaders from the standards and conformity assessment community gathered for the third plenary meeting of the American National Standards Institute Homeland Security Standards Panel (ANSI-HSSP), December 13-14, 2004. The two-day meeting was hosted by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in Gaithersburg, MD.

ANSI-HSSP co-chairs Mary Saunders, NIST, and Dan Bart, Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA), stated in their opening remarks that "2004 was a very productive year for the ANSI-HSSP," as evidenced by the work in support of the 9/11 Commission that appeared in its final report to Congress and the President, workshop reports that were published in the areas of biometrics and biological and chemical threat agents, and efforts underway in the areas of training programs for first responders and emergency communications.

In his welcoming remarks, NIST Acting director Dr. Hratch Semerjian stated, "Together, ANSI and NIST are working closely with our colleagues from the Department of Homeland Security to address priority measurement and standards needs in the homeland security arena." Dr. Bert Coursey, director of the Standards Portfolio for the DHS Science and Technology (S&T) Directorate, confirmed his agency's support of the ANSI-HSSP and recapped the 2004 progress of the S&T Directorate in terms of homeland security standards development.

Over the course of the day-and-a-half plenary session, there were a series interactive panel sessions that noted progress in the area of homeland security standard development and highlight areas where further work is needed.

The session on security standards making a difference highlighted a biometric standard recently published by INCITS, testing using an Institute of Electronics and Electrical Engineers(IEEE) standard on hand-held radiation detectors, and a new North American Security Products Organization (NASPO) project on document and product security.

The morning of the second day was devoted to emergency preparedness, both for the public and private sectors and for the individual citizen. An update on the recommendations from the 9/11 Commission pertaining to emergency preparedness was given, and private sector presentations were delivered on the national preparedness standard (NFPA 1600), standards efforts to protect the built environment, and total quality security management. The public sector and citizen preparedness sessions heard presentations on the DHS Office of Domestic Preparedness (ODP) national preparedness goal, the Emergency Management Accreditation Program (EMAP), and the Arlington County Office of Emergency Management's Citizen Corp Council.

The afternoon was devoted to a demonstration of the prototype for the ANSI-DHS homeland security standards database and a complimentary database to the system. Additionally, the session on international standards initiatives covered the ISO Advisory Group on Security and standards efforts involving Japan and Israel. Areas that were identified for possible further exploration under the ANSI-HSSP in 2005 included power security, perimeter security, academia's role in and support of homeland security, and modeling and simulation for emergency response.

For more information on the ANSI-HSSP, or to join for 2005, please contact the ANSI-HSSP secretary, Matt Deane (

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